On September 13, the funeral of mother of HDP’s (People’s Democratic Party) jailed lawmaker Aysel Tuğluk was attacked by a group of racist people chanting disturbing slogans and saying they did not want a body of a ‘terrorist’ buried in their neighborhood.
Chanting takbeer and anti-Armenian slogans, the mob of around 25-30 people – which later increased to over 50 - managed to temporarily prevent the burial of Tuğluk’s mother at İncek cemetery in Gölbaşı district of capital city of Ankara, where jailed MP Tuğluk also attended with the permission of authorities.
Tuğluk’s family decided to remove the body and transfer it to their homeland, Dersim (officially called Tunceli), since the attack got tense.
Journalist and politician Sırrı Sakık, who was attending the burial ceremony along with a group of other members of HDP, gave statements about the incident, saying the security teams waited to intervene until the crowd got larger and the attendees of the funeral faced a risk of being lynched by the violent mob. “They (attackers) were calling the police officers with their names or by saying ‘brother’. They were telling them ‘brother, you should come to our side, too’. Doesn’t a Kurd, an Alevi, an Armenian have a right to be buried on this land? Everyone must question how this atmosphere (of hatred) has been created!”, Sakık said, mentioning he made a phone call to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu to tell him about the severity of the incident.
As reports indicated, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu came to the site during the incident to ensure necessary precautions are taken against the attackers and said an investigation was launched, a statement by the office of Ankara Governor said.
Opposition members and government officials have condemned the incident strongly.
Spokesperson of the presidential office, İbrahim Kalın, called it ‘inhuman’ and said: ‘This is an ugly approach that can never match with our values, belief, culture, and civilization’.
Deputy PM Bekir Bozdağ defined it as ‘unacceptable’.
Condemning the attack firmly and making a phone call to Tuğluk’s brother, leader of the main opposition party CHP (Republican People’s Party), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, defined the attack as ‘inhuman’ and said: ‘We are losing our humanity’.
Giving statements to Çiğdem Toker from Cumhuriyet newspaper, Kılıçdaroğlu said the government was responsible for it ‘because they rule the country with hatred and enmity’.
“The strongest reaction should come from the Presidency of Religion Affairs (Diyanet). The Prime Minister and the President must come up front and say ‘this is inhuman’. We have neither heard of nor witnessed such incident in history where a person’s buried body is taken out because of reactions and transfered to another place”.
Answering journalists’ questions during a ceremony on Thursday (September 14), Interior Minister expressed ‘sadness’ over the incident and said there have been detentions related to the attack.
The body of Tuğluk’s mother was taken to Dersim and buried there after a ceremony at Alevi worship house of Cemevi on Thursday, although she had said it in her will to be buried at İncek cemetery, which is near the house of jailed lawmaker Aysel Tuğluk. MP Tuğluk was not permitted to attend the ceremony in Dersim.
Tuğluk spent her 48 hours of permitted time at her house in Ankara's İncek, accepting family members and friends who visited her to extend messsages of concolences.
Defining the attack as a 'second incident of Madımak' (Sivas Massacre), Tuğluk said: "They have burned me and drown me in pain for the second time. It was like a second Madımak", adding what saddened her the most was the 'intolerance among the members of the public'.